Ehrlichia spp. Forecast 2020
Nationwide, the high prevalence areas for ehrlichiosis are less well-defined compared to other vector-borne pathogens. The maps represent multiples species of genus Ehrlichia that have differing geographical ranges. Nonetheless, prevalence is expected to be above normal for the majority of the United States. Highlights include those listed below.
- Ehrlichia spp. seroprevalence in dogs is expected to be higher throughout the endemic south-central United States. In particular, veterinarians practicing in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky should be aware that seroprevalence is likely to continue to increase compared to the previous eight years.
- Similar to the previous year, there are small focal areas of expected lower than average seroprevalence. These include the central eastern border of Arkansas, far western Tennessee, and the western coastal region of North Carolina. Despite the expected decrease, these are still endemic areas with a high risk of exposure, so continued use of acaricides, routine examination of pets for the presence of ticks, and prompt removal is imperative.
Year-round protection, annual testing
The best way to protect your patients is to advise owners of the importance of year-round prevention, even during the winter months. You can use the CAPC Parasite Prevalence Maps to support your recommendation by underscoring the risks in your area and in regions of the country your clients may travel with their pets. It is also critical to emphasize the importance of compliance and using products according to label. The use of CAPC Parasite Prevalence maps and Forecast maps are a validated tool for increasing client willingness to engage in parasite prevention. Sign up for local alerts today by visiting the CAPC Parasite Prevalence Maps and selecting "Get Updates".
Veterinary professionals and pet owners who want to monitor the activity in their county throughout the year, can also access 30-Day Parasite Forecast Maps at www.petdiseasealerts.org. These maps, developed exclusively by CAPC, provide a local forecast for every county in the continental United States on a monthly basis.
The Science behind the Forecasts
Vector-borne disease is dynamic and ever changing, driven by multiple factors that affect the development of arthropod vectors and the pathogens they carry. Leading parasitologists work in collaboration with a team of statisticians to identify regions of the country that may experience higher parasite incidence in the months ahead. Numerous factors are analyzed, including the number of positive tests and the influence of weather patterns, vegetation indices, and human population density. Using this multi-disciplinary approach, we are leveraging everyone’s expertise to focus on a single common interest: forecasting the risk of exposure to vector-borne pathogens. While these forecasts predict the potential risk of a dog testing positive, they do not necessarily reflect the occurrence of clinical disease.
To learn more about the science behind the maps, full access to our manuscripts describing the methodology and fidelity of our forecasts can be found here.